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Grown Your Own? You Can Keep It!

Sunday, July 13, 2014 @ 06:07 PM

My favourite bit of growing my own food is preserving it – whatever that may mean. So I’m going to share some of my top recipes over the next few weeks. And I hope you’ll share yours too :)

If you’re going to preserve things you do need some stuff, not much but here are the basics and where to buy them.

Jars – you can save old ones up, or buy these rather ‘triumphant’ ones


A stainless steel preserving pan

Special scraping wooden spoon

Are you growing beetroot? And/or tomatoes? Here’s a really, really wonderful alternative to pickled beetroot in vinegar. Makes 5 x 225g jars which I originally got from one of my most thumbed books, Preserves, by Pam Corbin. It’s a really good book and you can read our review here.


1kg of beetroot, trimmed

Olive oil

250g granulated sugar

150ml red wine vinegar

1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped

Fresh red chilli chopped finely – to taste. (The original recipe uses 50g of grated horseradish root, but I didn’t have any)

For the roasted tomato puree:

1 kg of tomatoes

2 tsp sea salt

4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

50 ml olive oil

1. Heat the oven to180 degrees celcius/gas mark 4. Pop in the tomatoes halved and skin side down on a roasting tray. Sprinkle them with salt, garlic, olive oil. Remove the skins and whizz.

2. Put the beetroot in a roasting dish and trickle over some olive oil. Roast them until the skins blistered, loose and charred (takes over an hour)

3. Grate the beetroot – used a food processor, rubber gloves or accept that you’ll have luminous purple fingers all week!

4.Put sugar, vinegar and chilli into a big pan, boil and simmer for 5 mins (don’t be tempted to do it for longer – or else you’ll get rubber relish!!! Stir in the tomato puree.

5. Add the grated beetroot and cook for 10 mins (again not too long)

6. Put it in sterilised jars

The original recipe says use it in less than a year and refrigerate after opening. Actually it’s so yummy that this will seem irrelevant…


3 thoughts on “Grown Your Own? You Can Keep It!

  1. Deborah Shire Gardener

    It is great, isn’t it, being able to feed yourself through the winter months on what you grew in your garden. I have five courgette plants on the go so I will, hopefully, have my favourite courgette chutney to see me through the winter and for Christmas gifts. I’ve already started putting up my jam, and achieved my very first recipe blog post last week! After reading this, wish I’d grown more beets now.


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